Used throughout history, meditation can help you develop a greater sense of wellbeing. Candles are a good helpful aid as a focus of your session.
Visit our shop now, where you can buy our scented candle, made with 100% natural wax and scented with the pure essential oils of lavender to help you to relax and focus your mind.
Throughout history, different countries and cultures have used Meditation. It can help you to develop a greater sense of wellbeing, aid concentration and help to focus your mind. Aromatherapy candles can make an ideal addition to meditative practice and can even be the focus of the practice itself.
We will explore which scents you might use and explain how you can try a meditation session yourself.
What is meditation?
There are lots of different definitions of meditation and the term ‘meditation’ refers to a group of techniques, rather than to any one specific method or process. A general definition might be that meditation is the focus on one’s mind, for a religious or spiritual purpose or to enhance health or wellbeing. Today, we use Meditation for stress relief, relaxation and to help with physical ailments.
Two common types of meditation are ‘concentration meditation’ and ‘mindfulness meditation’. ‘Concentration meditation’ involves focusing on an external object, such as a candle, or an internal aspect, such as our breath. If the mind wonders, bring your attention back to the desired area of focus. In ‘mindfulness meditation’, the focus is often to become more aware of the whole field of attention. This might include our senses, thoughts and feelings (emotional and physical).
What’s good about meditation?
Because meditation helps to improve your focus and attention, you can become more aware of the world around us, and notice things that we may have previously overlooked or been too preoccupied to pay attention to. A ‘mindful’ state is one where you have greater awareness of the present moment by, for example, focusing on your senses such as (sight, smell, touch and the sounds around us. Practicing this can help improve your wellbeing (NHS Choices, 2014).
Research has highlighted many benefits of practicing meditation. Recent studies found that participants with more experience in meditation displayed a higher level of emotional intelligence, less perceived stress and more positive mental health.
Evidence shows that mindfulness meditation helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids emotional regulation. It has been found that 5x 20 minute sessions of integrative body-mind meditation resulted in reduced anxiety, depression, anger, stress and fatigue, among other things.
The Candle Meditation Technique
As you might have guessed, you practice candle meditation by gazing at a candle flame.
Some people find this type of meditation quite easy, as they find it easier to let go of thoughts when they are concentrating on a physical “thing” rather than on a mantra.
For others, this meditation can be a bit of a challenge – yes it can sometimes be tricky to keep your eyes open and focussed on a candle without them blinking or watering. However, with a little practise, most people find that they gradually become very comfortable with this type of open-eye meditation.
One thing is for sure, this meditation is a fantastic way to improve your concentration skills, and it can lead you into a profoundly deep state of meditation if practiced properly.
Essential oils and their role in meditation
Essential oils are the concentrated essence of plants and form the basis of aromatherapy, the aim of which is to maintain or improve psychological, physical and even spiritual wellbeing.
Plant aromatics have played a key role in traditions and rituals in cultures throughout the world. For example; Buddhists would burn Sandalwood with eagle wood and used this as an incense in their places of worship to help them achieve a deep state of meditation. Atlas cedarwood was also used as an incense by Tibetan monks to enhance their spirituality.
It’s known, that Clary Sage helps us to achieve inspiration and insight. Lavender can calm the spirit, and bergamot can help us to “let go”. Both lavender and bergamot have been found to aid calmness and relaxation.
What’s most important is finding a fragrance that you like, and ideally one that helps you to feel calm.
How to do the Candle Meditation
- Pick a place to meditate. Before you light a candle for your meditation, take a minute to prepare the space in which you will meditate. You don’t want to choose a place that’s too busy, too bright, or too loud. Meditation is a relaxing experience, and you want your location to match your inner state. Find a quiet place with no disruptions for the duration of the session.
- Turn down the lights or draw your window shades closed. You’ll find this meditation much easier to do in a room that’s not too bright and you’ll avoid eyestrain too, so make sure the room you are in is dimly lit and at a comfortable temperature.
- Choose a candle. This step is as complicated or simple as you’d like to make it. If you just want to learn concentration, feel free to pick any candle. If, however, you are hoping to associate the candle with spiritual meaning, then be more particular.
In colour theory, different colours create a range of feelings and emotions. The same principle applies here. Blue, for instance, encourages calm or protection. Red represents energy and strength. White symbolizes inner peace or purification.
Make sure to choose a candle compatible with your mediation goals.
Decide whether you want a scented or unscented candle. If you think scented candles will distract you from your goal, avoid them. Some people find that the scents aid them in reaching a deeper relaxation, however.
- Light your candle. Place the candle so that the flame is at or slightly below eye-level, around two feet away (too close, and the candle will be too bright to look at). Then, focus on the flame. Don’t let your eyes wander, and try to ignore stinging or watering sensations. Relax, and let all your cares fade away except for your chosen mantra or idea you want to meditate on.
- Sit down comfortably. You’re going to want to sit absolutely still for at least 15 to 30 minutes. To avoid distraction, make sure you choose a spot that will be comfortable for that length of time. It’s important that you are able to maintain a comfortable upright posture that feels natural to you. Take a seat in your favourite chair, or sit cross-legged on the floor
At first, your mind will probably wonder and your eyes will resist your efforts to keep them still. This is normal and it will gradually ease as the meditation progresses, so don’t be too concerned if this happens to you.
You may also find that your eyes water a little. Again, this is normal and it usually dissipates quite quickly. If distractions like these arise, simply return your attention to the candle flame and let them go.
A great way to deepen a candle meditation is to imagine that you are breathing the light of the candle in and out of yourself. You don’t need to perform a complex visualization exercise to do this, just keep your eyes fixed on the candle flame, and allow your natural breathing rhythm to fill your awareness.
Casually sense that the light of the candle is flowing into you as you breathe in and out. Feel a sense of purity and clarity infusing with your body and mind as you absorb yourself in this meditation.
When you have completed your candle meditation, close your eyes and lie down for at least five minutes as you let your body and mind come back down to earth.
Go deeper into the meditationRead More